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Four patriotic road trips for the Fourth

Why not hit the road to celebrate America?

Fourth of July usually means picnics, sparklers and fireworks once the sun goes down.

But why not hit the road for something different? Here are four ideas for patriotic road trips this weekend.

Valley Forge National Park

What: July 4 Community Picnic in the Park, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 4

To do: Try out Patrick Henry's dunk tank, or make your own tricorn hat. Kids can learn to drill like a Continental Army soldier. For more history, you can try the 40-minute interpretive walks or the 90-minute trolley tour. Listen to Benjamin Franklin recite the Declaration of Independence, and sign it yourself. The activities are free, and food is for sale, according to the park website.

For more details: Visit or for more information including a detailed schedule.

Where: Use this address in your GPS: 1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, PA 19406. The drive might take about an hour and a half from York.

George Washington's Mount Vernon

What: An American Celebration, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4

To do: Start by watching General George Washington inspect the troops. The events for the day include a daytime fireworks show, birthday cake and a performance by the National Concert Band at noon.

The event is included in admission to the venue. If you order online in advance, they are $17 for adults, $9 for children ages 6 to 11 and free for those younger.

For more details: Visit

Where: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Mount Vernon, VA 22121. The drive might take about two to two and a half hours from York.

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

What: The fort, the inspiration for the Star Spangled Banner, has events July 2 and 4.

To do: At 2 p.m. July 2, the fort hosts a free program that starts with a performance by  U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and the Continental Color Guard. The afternoon includes a military tattoo ceremony, and visitors can help fold the 30 x 42-foot flag.

On July 4, an actor famous for his portrayal of Frederick Douglass will re-enact Douglass' speech "The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro." A question-and-answer session will follow. The regular fort admission fee of $10 for adults applies.

For more details: Visit

Where: Fort McHenry, 2400 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230. The drive might take an hour and a half from York.

Historic Philadelphia

What: Various events throughout the weekend

To do: There will, of course, be fireworks, but there are plenty of other things to check out in the daylight.

A block party will be held in the historic area on July 3, or you can Party on the Parkway starting at noon July 4, on Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 20th Street to Eakins Oval. Both events include kids' activities, music, food and games. At 10 a.m. July 4, you can see Leslie Odom Jr. - star of the wildly popular musical "Hamilton" - read the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the very place it was signed - Independence Hall.

For more details: More details about these and more Fourth of July festivities are available at or The drive to Philadelphia might take two to three hours from York.